Microsoft Corp. has agreed to buy corporate social-network operator Yammer Inc. for $1.2 billion in cash to help it woo businesses with Facebook-like tools that help employees collaborate in the workplace.
San Francisco's Yammer will become part of Microsoft's Office division, and the team will continue to report to the Yammer Chief Executive Officer the companies said Monday, confirming earlier reports of the sale. Yammer was founded in 2008 by the former chief operating officer at PayPal Inc.
Yammer provides features - similar to those found on Facebook - to more than 200,000 companies such as Ford Motor Co. and eBay Inc. The purchase will help Microsoft compete with corporate social features like Salesforce.com Inc.'s Chatter product, as well as startups such as Jive Software Inc. and Asana Inc., run by a Facebook co-founder.
The Yammer deal follows other recent enterprise software purchases centered on social media. San Francisco's Salesforce.com gained social-marketing tools through its $745 million purchase of Buddy Media Inc. earlier this month, and Redwood City's Oracle Corp. recently bought two companies that analyze data on social-media sites. Those are Vitrue Inc. and Collective Intellect Inc.